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Now, what was it that Hayek said about the NHS making us slaves?

Summary:
The Road To Serfdom does indeed make the claim that nationalised health care is the start of a slippery slope to a certain slavery to the state. It is a proper slippery slope argument too, not the logical fallacy. For the insistence is that if this first step is taken then the rest will inevitably follow.It’s also worth noting what the argument is not, which is that government making or ensuring provision for health care will lead to such. Rather, that if it is the state itself doing it then that serfdom will follow. The serfdom itself being that we will be managed and manipulated in order to benefit the state health service rather than it serving our health. Primary school children should be taught to treat their minor illnesses on their own to stop unnecessary visits to GPs, NHS leaders

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The Road To Serfdom does indeed make the claim that nationalised health care is the start of a slippery slope to a certain slavery to the state. It is a proper slippery slope argument too, not the logical fallacy. For the insistence is that if this first step is taken then the rest will inevitably follow.

It’s also worth noting what the argument is not, which is that government making or ensuring provision for health care will lead to such. Rather, that if it is the state itself doing it then that serfdom will follow. The serfdom itself being that we will be managed and manipulated in order to benefit the state health service rather than it serving our health.

Primary school children should be taught to treat their minor illnesses on their own to stop unnecessary visits to GPs, NHS leaders have said.

The call is part of a raft of recommendations for a national “self-care” strategy to ease the burden on the NHS, set out in a new report written by a coalition of health bodies.

The authors include NHS Clinical Commissioners, which is part of the NHS Confederation, the body which represents all parts of the health service, the Royal College of Nursing, the Royal Pharmaceutical Society, and the National Pharmacy Association.

It’s entirely true that a scraped knee isn’t the most appalling of health care problems. And yet those injunctions to suffer the little children do come to mind, even the obvious point that our children are the most precious thing of all to each of us.

But how foul would it be if any of the priests of the national religion had to sully their hands in comforting a crying child? Quite, we must be managed for their benefit rather than they having to do anything we might want them to.

It’s only taken 73 years - for the NHS - or 77 years - since the publication of the forecast - but who really wants to try and insist that Hayek was wrong?

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Tim Worstall
Tim Worstall is a British-born writer and Senior Fellow of the Adam Smith Institute. Worstall is a regular contributor to Forbes and the Register. He has also written for the Guardian, the New York Times, PandoDaily, the Daily Telegraph blogs, the Times, and The Wall Street Journal. In 2010 his blog was listed as one of the top 100 UK political blogs by Total Politics.

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